Nov 19, 2006

The Republican Party Represents Authoritarian Policies, Totalitarian Views

Opinions & Facts,Though not Mutually Exclusive, not Identical Either!

I admire people who don't give up in the face of obstacles or after experiencing setbacks. However, this perseverance is admirable only if the goal is attainable and the choices wise. President Bush has elevated stubbornness and futility into a political philosophy when it comes to his policy in Iraq. He not only wasted the opportunity of the century--when most people and countries were sympathetic to us after 9-11 and supported the US fight against terrorism--but he's the leader of an increasingly diminishing segment of our society that wants to "stay the course." What's this course? Honestly I don't know--and I doubt Bush knows either--other than never admitting a mistake despite the terrible consequences, and keep praying for a ..miracle.

The Baker study group on Iraq will be a political compromise I dare to guess. It will try to offer cover for everyone, so I don't think we'll learn anything new or that it will show us a path to victory. Of course, Bush, on his trip to Vietnam, quoted another ..architect of "victory", Henry Kissinger, that "we'll win unless we pull out"! Whatever. This man, who until he became president, hadn't been outside our country and never had any interest in world affairs, has done so much harm to US interests and must be stopped. The American people perhaps don't own the actions of their
leaders, but they are responsible for the ones they elect--and elections do have consequences! Sadly, we lack historical knowledge and the idea of civic duty hasn't gotten much traction with many, many Americans. [Watch this clip of Richard Dreyfuss who makes some excellent points]

I don't understand how any sane person--besides the ones who benefit from the skewed economic policies--would be a Republican today. Oh, all right, I forgot to mention the theocons--those who want a theocracy established here in preparation for the Rapture! OK, those who are under many impenetrable illusions qualify to be a Republican too. I would welcome an honest, rational, non-corrupt Republican party that would offer new ideas and competent people to implement those policies. This would serve as a counter-balance to the Democratic party. But, that Republican party would have to elevate the quality of the dialogue and see its interests as the interest of most Americans! At this point, this is in the realm of fiction. Not science fiction mind you, because this Republican party has an aversion to science and reason!

This is the party that loves power and unquestionable authority. It's what linguist George Lakoff describes as the "strict father approach" [as compared to the Democrats' "nurturing mother
approach"] where those individuals who need to exercise power and those who want to be guided come together. It also has a totalitarian vision, that is, absolute truth can be obtained [and the GOP holds the truth with a capital T] through obedience and faith--not faith only in religious terms but also faith in the leader/decider/vanguard party/Big Brother/ideology, etc. Obviously, both models may be necessary for a society to function but the trick is to know where to draw the line and how much of a dose to take--much like medicine, too much it can kill you, the right amount can cure you! Of course, getting the right dose depends on knowledge & responsibility.

Good change happens when people are ready for it or when there's leadership that introduces it to the people and the latter see the benefits of change. Unfortunately, the Republican party still wants to appeal to the lowest common denominator, play the game of the emotional buttons, draw
support from bigots, foster intolerance, and continue with its strategy of extreme polarization in the hopes of energizing its shrinking base. Let's see, they just elected Trent Lott and Mitch McConnell to leadership positions in the Congress. Who are they? Lott likes racial segregation and dislikes civil rights. McConnell wants to see more theocons on the bench & in government.

In the last 12 years since the GOP took control of Congress, we've seen a considerable attempt to dumb down America. From Bush on down, science [i.e. evolution, environment, medicine] and scientific inquiry pale in the face of the elite's economic interests and dogma. As long as there's someone somewhere holding a view contrary to scientific facts, Bush and his fans will say that "there are two sides to a story!" Right... Any unqualified opinion is equated with facts in this bizarro world. We've also seen that incompetence (never mind mediocrity) gets you positions of power in the Congress and the government, and there's a good chance that, if you combine incompetence with loyalty to Caesar, you'll get you promoted; it could possibly get you a medal too! How can you really argue with someone who says, why worry about global warming and other environmental disasters when "God is up there"?!! Ignorance is one thing, but applied ignorance is dangerous.

And, please don't tell me about the "maverick" John McCain! This man has flipped-flopped more times than Flipper! But, rhetoric and a constructed image sometimes is more important than substance in our politics. Yeah, the guy who has a ranch and can have a beer with us is more qualified that someone who knows his stuff but talks in a way we have to pay attention to understand him! After all, many of us decide at the last minute how to vote after watching those ..informative political ads! If I didn't care about the quality of our political discourse, I'd argue for another ..Republican party, Faux News channel, and lots of ..swiftboating. You know, to treat the GOPers with some of their own ..koolaid. Anyway, I'm sure many Americans are saying good riddance to the thecons and the brand of conservatism that has seriously damaged our republic. Hopefully, the lunatic fringe will be sent back to the margins of our society again.

Now, let's see why "the wicked witch of the West" Pelosi and her agenda hasn't solved our problems already...

PS. I think you'll enjoy the links in this post, so click on!
The sketch above from xkcd